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Sherry Smith


BA 1972, Social Sciences
MA 1974, History

A professor’s simple question, “Have you ever considered getting a PhD?” launched Sherry Smith’s academic career. Sherry is a Distinguished Professor of History at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she focuses on Native American History and the American West. She is also the Associate Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU, one of the most prestigious historical research centers in the United States. During her tenure at SMU, Sherry published Reimagining Indians: Native Americans Through Anglo Eyes, 1880-1940 (New York: Oxford Press, 2000), which garnered her the Organization of American Historians’ Rawley Prize for best book on race relations (2001) and the Author’s Award from the Godbey Lecture Series at Southern Methodist University (2001). Sherry wrote or contributed to over 30 publications.

During 2008-09, she was President of the Western History Association and is currently a Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library where she is spending a year to finish a book and start another. Sherry has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards and is an active member in several professional organizations. In addition, Sherry and her husband and fellow historian, Robert W. Righter, are passionate about their work to preserve the cultural resources of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.